Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The story is of an extraordinary six months in the life of extraordinary nine year old Miho Shinohara.
One day, apparently entirely at random, Miho Shinohara is the beneficiary of a gift. Two stuffed dinosaur figures disconcertingly come to life and present her with a magic sketchbook and pen. Within limits, and subject to varying degrees of control, Miho can draw in the sketchbook and bring the drawings to life. She finds that she can transform herself into a young woman who she names Lala.
By a very clever series of coincidences Lala becomes, over a period of six months, a pop star! The process is brought about at the hands of a well-meaning but driven talent agency team working for Lyrical Productions (amusingly, Lala's personal manager is named Ririka, pronounced identically with "Lyrical" in Japanese, making it very difficult for Ririka to make a good impression when introducing herself!).
Fancy Lala is a very thoughtfully realised anime series. The characters develop gradually throughout the 24 episodes of the series, and all of the main characters are complex. There are a relatively small number of filler episodes that do not contribute to the central story.
The artwork in Fancy Lala is unusually expressionistic for a show that is earnestly intended for a pre-teen female audience. The characters are drawn simply, but expressively, and the backgrounds are often finely detailed, the overall effect is very pleasing. The character artwork in Fancy Lala relies very heavily on details of hair and eyes for emotional cues, the degree of detail in the hair is often striking.
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